First venture for Tabernacle arts hub

THE restoration of the Whitfield Tabernacle in Kingswood has inspired a novel weekend of art activities this month.

Award-winning artist Vincent Brown will give a demonstration of portrait painting on Saturday September 23 and will run a two-hour art class the following day.

Vincent will produce a portrait of Basil Rogers, the last Minister of Whitfield Tabernacle. The demonstration will take place at New Cheltenham Community Centre where up to 40 people will be able to watch the painting develop with the aid of a TV screen to allow them to get close to the detail. 

Participants in the art class in Vincent’s studio at Warmley Clocktower on Sunday September 24 will produce artwork based on the interior of the Grade 1-listed Tabernacle, which they will have had the opportunity to visit the previous day. 

The events are a fore-runner of activities that could take place at the historic building once its restoration is completed. The work is being carried out with funding support from South Gloucestershire Council, West of England Combined Authority and Historic England and the aim is for it to become a focus for arts, heritage and education for the community. 

Chair of the Tabernacle Trust Anthony Hick said: “We are excited to be working with such an accomplished artist as Vincent, and we know he shares our vision to encourage more people to get involved in producing and seeing art, drama and performance in all forms. 

“When our Tabernacle building is fully converted in 2024, we hope it will provide a useful and attractive venue for community and artistic events.  The sessions we have planned with Vincent, and other sessions that we are planning with local musicians and performers are aimed at building a future audience and encouraging the community to help shape what we are finally able to offer.”

There will be no charge to participants for any of the events planned for September 23-24  but those planning to attend must pre-register their interest by contacting or calling 0117 932 2723.  More information about the Tabernacle can be found at